The simplest thing you can do with the Gaia Pro stamper is to pick a single stamp and just place that across the entire terrain. However you sometimes want to add additional features to an existing terrain, or place multiple stamps on a very large game world. This article explains some tricks and techniques on how to do this best.

For a video tutorial on terrain stamping please check out
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l72itAbZoks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5xDUVxYno4


Selective Positioning


The simplest thing you can do to add additional features to the terrain is to take the stamper and position it in such way that only a mountain peeks through the terrain, then stamp.


In reverse, you can of course switch the operation type to "Lower Terrain" and cut valleys into the terrain as well.


Setting Influence to Global


However you will notice soon that this is limited to some extent, because you will run into the issue that it becomes difficult to place the stamp in such way that the square base is not also visible which would not work well for stamping:


What you can do in that case to only get the actual features of the stamp on the terrain, but not the square base, is to switch the influence of the image mask from "Local" to "Global"


The difference between the "Local" and "Global" influence settings is difficult to describe in words alone, an attempt would be:

  • A local mask will influence only the operation in itself 
  • A global mask will influence the complete stamping end result.

This can better be explained in an example, here is a typical stamp using an image mask in local influence:


Here is a distance mask being applied to the stamp, in local influence as well. Note how the stamp stays at the same height, and the distnace mask only blends out the features of the stamp image towards the borders of the stamper. The distance mask only influences the stamp in itself.


The same distance mask, but this time the influence is switched to "Global". The distance mask now affects the overall stamping result - since the "power" of the stamp is faded out towards the border of the stamper, the distance mask now has the effect that it makes the mountain of the image mask blend seamlessly with the existing terrain:


Using the Base Level


Another way to get "only features" of a image mask on an existing terrain, is to use the "Base Level" and "Adaptive Base" setting. Again this is better shown off in an example. This stamp is difficult to blend in with the terrain even in global influence, because its smaller mountains do not stop at the edge of the stamp.


What you can do here is to unselect "Stamp Base", then raise the base level setting. You will notice that the red plane of the stamper starts to cut away the stamp from the bottom up:


While this helps to get rid off the square base of the stamp, the features that we have cut out this way are now floating way too high above the terrain. Click "Adaptive Base" to fix this and glue the features to the existing terrain:

When you stamp now, you got mountain features of the existing stamp without stamping the square base as well.


Using the Blend Height Operation


Note that there beyond raising and lowering there  is also a "Blend Height" operation which allows you to blend the exisitng terrain towards the stamp. In this way it is possible to raise and lower the terrain at the same time in a single operation. Here is a stamp at 0 blend strength, just the original terrain:


And here is the stamp being in blended more and more, notice how there are parts of the terrain that will be raised (greenish tint) while there are also parts that will be lowered (magenta tint):



By combining these techniques you should be able to add additional features to the terrain as you see fit to create an interesting world design.